Bad Faith Insurance

Parker County lawyers need to have a basic understanding of how to see bad faith insurance when it happens.
To understand the different ways disputes can arise, it is helpful to consider the sequence of events that are likely to occur. To do this, try to divide the purchase of insurance into the initial sale of the policy by an agent and the the subsequent handling of a claim when one is made. Here is a further breakdown.
A) The sale of the policy. To begin with, the consumer and insurance company and insurance company agent must communicate to establish an insurance contract relationship. Disputes may arise over what was asked for by the person trying to purchase insurance, who was represented by the agent, or the timeliness of the insurance company or agent in providing coverage. Issues may also arise about the honesty of the applicant or the agent in discussing information requested by the insurance company.
B) Underwriting. At this stage of the process, the insurance company considers the application and determines whether the applicant is an acceptable risk. Certain types of discrimination based on risk are legitimate and are inherent in the process of providing insurance. Other types of discrimination , such as distinctions based on gender, ethnicity, or disability, or unlawful under current laws.
C) Policy Administration. During the course of the insured and insurance company relationship, disputes may arise even if there are no claims made. For example, the insurance company may choose to cancel or not renew the policy. The insurance company may also demand a premium that is higher than what was expected by the purchaser of the insurance.
D) Claims. If a claim arises that is suppose to be covered by the policy, the parties may fall into disagreement over the scope of the coverage, the amount of the payment, the insurance company’s failure to pay, or the timeliness of any payment. An insurance claim may also give rise to disagreements based on the difference between the coverage promised by the insurance company or it’s agent at the time of sale as compared with the coverage given at the time of the claim.
An attorney who handles many insurance claims will find that even though every case is different, they also all have similarities. There are only so many fights that can arise out of an insurance contract dispute. Most of the time the problems are recurring problems that can be grouped into categories. When it comes to insurance law, the common law and precedent are big factors to look at to see how the courts will handle the case.
There are a surprising number of insurance cases that exist and one key for an experienced Insurance Law Attorney is to find the cases that emphasize the facts that are favorable to your case.
The first thing to do is to read the insurance contract. But beyond the contract, there needs to be a knowledge of the Insurance Code provisions that are applicable. because often times policies will have language in them that is unenforceable. What the attorney should be looking for is:
(a) misrepresentations – either those in the contract or those made by the insurance agent,
(b) nondisclosures – that information that should have been made available to the person purchasing the insurance,
(c) unfair settlement practices – these are the violations of the Insurance Code, but also looking at the Texas Department of Insurance web-site is beneficial,
(d) looking at all the other conduct in the initial contact and the subsequent claims handling process.